The Safeway on Georgia Ave. and Randolph was a disaster. Rotten meat regularly rested on refrigerated shelves and the stench spilled into the parking lot. Several floor tiles were broken or missing altogether. Produce was wilted or soft on good days and spoiled or moldy on bad days. Shopping carts were often broken down and covered in sticky grime.
This was the story for years until 2012, when the building was demolished to make way for the construction of a new incarnation of the store. In the interim, many residents of the Petworth area in Northwest Washington, D.C. who had lived there for years—the neighborhood sits just north of Howard University—were forced to walk, drive or find transit over longer distances to different neighborhoods to buy groceries and other basic needs. For most residents, this meant traveling to places that were not within close proximity.
Already on the edge of a burgeoning gentrification movement in 2010, Petworth has since taken off in economic growth and rising property values. “Artists” moved in, bike lanes and racks showed up beside streets overnight, coffee shops and niche stores sprang from seemingly nowhere. The new sprawling citadel of a Safeway returned triumphantly in 2014 to a coffee-scented community of swanky condo blocks, cyclists and more young white faces than ever.
Close to the far side of Petworth in neighboring Brightwood, the first Walmart in the District popped up not too long ago, complete with a fancy interior and a robust grocery section. These two huge stores bookended a long grocery-deficient area and promised to help irrigate the food desert at the heart of Petworth. But as the healthier and tastier food options replaced what previously existed, so did whiter and wealthier faces replace the lower and middle-class black and brown faces that had long lived and died there.
A History of the clear line, or ligne claire or klare lijn.
Ligne claire (French for “clear line”) is a style of drawing pioneered by Hergé, the Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin. It uses clear strong lines of uniform importance. Artists working in it do not use…